Farmers Insurance Ranks Most Secure Places to Live; Northwest Tops List

December 15, 2008

Those seeking a place to live, work or raise a family in a safe and secure environment should consider the Pacific Northwest, according to the fifth annual Most Secure U.S. Places to Live rankings from Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

The rankings, compiled by database experts at, took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, life expectancy and job loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities. The study divided the communities into three groups: large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns.

The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash., area encompassing Puget Sound topped all large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater) in the 2008 study. A high job growth rate and long life expectancy, along with minimal housing depreciation and lack of extreme weather contributed to the area’s top rating in the study. The area is home to such Fortune 500 companies as, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Safeco Corp. and T-Mobile USA.

Olympia, Wash., repeats its 2007 honor as the most secure mid-size U.S. city (population between 150,000 and 500,000), while Corvallis, Ore., also defends its title as the most secure small town (population less than 150,000).

The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area, which was not ranked in the Top 20 in the first three years of the Farmers study, jumped from 17th place among the large metropolitan cities in 2007 to first place in 2008. The Portland/Beaverton, Ore./ Vancouver, Wash., area ranks second among large cities in this year’s study, while Honolulu, Hawaii, is third. This marks the fifth straight year Honolulu is ranked in the Top 20 among large cities.

Las Cruces, N.M., is second to Olympia among the most secure mid-size cities, with Salem, Ore., third. Las Cruces took top honors among mid-size cities in the 2006 Farmers study, while Olympia has been ranked in the Top 20 all five years of the study.

Bismarck, N.D., and Logan, Utah, rank second and third, respectively, behind Corvallis among the most secure small towns. It is Bismarck’s third consecutive appearance in the Top 20, and the second year in a row for Logan.

Following are the rankings.

Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)
1. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
2. Portland-Beaverton, Ore./Vancouver, Wash.
3. Honolulu, Hawaii
4. El Paso, Tex.
5. Tacoma, Wash.
6. Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.
7. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.
8. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Md.
9. Salt Lake City, Utah
10. Pittsburgh, Pa.
11. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
12. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
13. Albuquerque, N.M.
14. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
15. Austin-Round Rock, Tex.
16. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
17. Nassau-Suffolk Counties, N.Y.
18. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Me.
19. Edison, N.J.
20. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

Mid-Size Cities (150,000 – 500,000 residents)
1. Olympia, Wash.
2. Las Cruces, N.M.
3. Salem, Ore.
4. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash.
5. Bellingham, Wash.
6. Provo-Orem, Utah
7. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
8. Lancaster, Pa.
9. Lynchburg, Va.
10. Charleston, W.Va.
11. Sioux Falls, S.D.
12. Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash.
13. Huntington, W.Va.-Ashland, Ky.
14. Fargo, N.D.
15. Roanoke, Va.
16. Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
17. Appleton, Wis.
18. Charlottesville, Va.
19. Spokane, Wash.
20. Laredo, Tex.

Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)
1. Corvallis, Ore.
2. Bismarck, N.D.
3. Logan, Utah
4. Wenatchee, Wash.
5. State College, Pa.
6. Lewiston, Idaho
7. Morgantown, W.Va.
8. Harrisonburg, Va.
9. Billings, Mont.
10. Santa Fe, N.M.
11. Wheeling, W.Va.
12. Grand Junction, Colo.
13. Lebanon, Pa.
14. Grand Forks, N.D.
15. Casper, Wyo.
16. Wausau, Wis.
17. Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Wash.
18. Farmington, N.M.
19. Midland, Tex.
20. Great Falls, Mont.

For more information, visit

Source: Farmers Group Inc.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.